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Careers in Medicine: Specialty Information

Neurological Surgery

Nature of the work

A neurological surgeon provides the operative and non-operative management (i.e., prevention, diagnosis, evaluation, treatment, critical care, and rehabilitation) of disorders of the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems, including their supporting structures and vascular supply; the evaluation and treatment of pathological processes which modify function or activity of the nervous system; and the operative and non-operative management of pain. A neurological surgeon encompasses the surgical, non-surgical, and stereotactic radiosurgical treatment of adult and pediatric patients with disorders of the nervious system; disorder of the brain, meninges, skull, and skull base, and their blood supply, including the surgical and endovascular treatment of disorders of the intracranial and extracranial vasculature supplying the brain and spinal cord; disorders of the pituitary gland; disorders of the spinal cord, meninges and vertebral column, including those that may require treatment by fusion, instrumentation, or endovascular techniques; and disorders of the cranial, peripheral and spinal nerves throughout their distribution.

Neurological Surgeons can receive training in the following subspecialties:

  • Endovascular surgical neuroradiology - uses catheter technology, radiologic imaging, and clinical expertise to diagnose and treat diseases of the central nervous system.

Training/residency information

Residency training in neurological surgery lasts five to seven years, the first year of which is a general clinical/surgery training year. Neurosurgical residents are trained in all aspects of neurosurgery, including cerebrovascular, pediatrics, spine, trauma, and tumor.

Salary information

The annual salary for neurological surgeons ranges from $287,000 to $637,000.

For more information


Neurosurgery deals with the diagnosis and treatment of pathological processes, which affect the nervous system. It includes the operative, non-operative, intensive care management and rehabilitation of patients with disorders affecting the brain and skull, spine and nervous system.

Most consultant neurosurgeons spend four to five sessions in the operating theatre per week with the remainder of the time spent on pre- and post-operative ward care of the patients, outpatient clinics, teaching and other administrative duties.

Largely as a result of advances in diagnosis, special imaging X-rays and scans, anaesthesia and intensive care, there are many conditions now amenable to neurosurgical treatment, e.g. brain tumours, head injuries, spinal problems, etc.


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